As the supply chain crisis worsens, a new record number of cargo ships are stranded off the coast of California, with no method for offloading their cargo, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
On Tuesday, there were a total of 111 ships anchored just off the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach, surpassing the previous total of 108 ships on October 21st. Prior to the supply chain crisis, there would usually be either zero or just one ship waiting at sea, as the Port of Los Angeles would always process and ship out its cargo in a timely fashion.
The growing crisis comes even despite attempted intervention by the Biden Administration, with Biden announcing in October that the Port of Los Angeles would begin operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. At the same time, multiple massive retailers and shipping companies, including WalMart, FedEx, and UPS, announced that they would be extending their working hours.
California authorities even began threatening fines for shipping companies that failed to remove containers fast enough, with fines of $100 a day for every container that was still in port. There are currently over 60,000 containers in the ports right now that are susceptible to such fines.
The worsening crisis has even led the Biden Administration to consider deploying the National Guard to assist with the logistics of transporting goods out of the ports. The supply chain woes are certain to be felt harder than ever by consumers in the coming holiday season, with goods such as gifts and food becoming more expensive than ever, and with less than a month to go before Thanksgiving and less than two months before Christmas.
Numerous factors are playing into the ongoing global crisis, which has especially impacted the massive consumer market in the United States. Various COVID-19 restrictions have led to a shortage in the workforce, with many employees forced out of their jobs due to mask and vaccine mandates, as well as extended federal unemployment benefits discouraging people outside the workforce from looking for work again.
At the same time, Biden’s latest economic policies, including injections of trillions of dollars into the economy through his COVID stimulus bill and his soon-to-be-signed infrastructure bill, have led to skyrocketing inflation rates, which have also driven up wages and further exasperated the labor shortage. Subsequently, with the flow of goods slowed down by the shortage in labor and causing a decrease in availability, demand for those same goods has spiked in preparation for the holidays, leading to price increases in order to maximize profit due to the high demand.